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The A&E Report: The A&E Squeeze

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We promise that not every installment of the A&E Report will focus on parking, but there's a reason the first two installments do: parking in this city sucks — big time. It's a curse that affects us all, and most of us just suck it up and suffer through it. But the arrogant and entitled don't play by the rules, and they've made parking more of a nightmare than it needs to be.

Compact spaces were intended to help alleviate the parking problem. They allowed garages to cram in more spaces and at the same time reward people for buying cars that didn't take up so much damn space. The problem is that almost no one pays attention to them. For most people, any open space is as good as the next one, and if they have to squeeze their Suburban into a compact space, so be it. Nevermind that this makes it impossible for anyone to fit into the adjacent spaces, or that their gas-guzzling behemoths are so close to the car next to them that the driver isn't going to be able to get his door open. How many times have you witnessed the old A&E squeeze, where a compact space is left empty because two SUVs that are parked on either side of it created an opening so tight not even a Mini Cooper could fit there? In a crowded lot, the abuse of compact spaces can even seem to cause a net loss in available parking. You can thank arrogance and entitlement for that.

Part of the blame, though, has to go to poor planning. Compact spaces were an experiment that failed, and it failed because whoever thought up the idea underestimated the amount of A&E in LA drivers. Yet new garages are still permitted to section off up to 40% of their parking for compact spaces. In a city where SUVs are so plentiful and civility is so rare, that's a fool's ratio. And if you're going to create so many compact parking spaces in your lot, you should be responsible for punishing the offenders, though ticketing and towing for compact space abuses are extremely rare.

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Perhaps we need a new type of parking ticket, one that addresses the parking offenses that really make our lives difficult and that puts the A&E drivers on notice that we aren't going to take their behavior silently anymore. LAist therefore presents a suggestion for just such a ticket. Click on the illustration to enlarge. And the next time you see a Range Rover hogging a compact space, imagine a world where a ticket like this really was legally binding, and where the steep fine it carried could be put toward a fund to redraw the parking lines and eliminate all compact spaces once and for all.

Download the A&E Parking Ticket here. (PDF)